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Wedding DJ Tips: Cocktail Hour & Dinner Vibes
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Everyone wants a great time at a wedding and most people consider the dancing portion of a wedding to be the highlight, because it is. The party portion of the evening will typically be the part of the evening that will be most memorable. That doesn’t mean that we as DJs can’t make other parts of the evening special. Our job is to curate an atmosphere, controlling the vibe and flow of the the couples special day.
When consulting your couple, be sure to inquire what kind of energy they would like for both their cocktail hour and dinner music. Yes the music is essentially ambience, but if you are DJing a luau style wedding, then J Dilla instrumentals may not be the best options. Traditional Hawaiian style music would probably make more sense in this case, even though J Dilla is amazing. A classical style wedding laced with chandeliers and gold accents would probably have a different feel compared to a wedding on a beach and you can compliment that with the music. You may not think people are paying attention and maybe they aren’t, but it’s not the music they should be focusing on. It’s the overall experience they receive from being in a venue that has a given feel with food and drinks to match alongside the perfect soundtrack for the occasion.
You may have just a list of tracks that play during the cocktail hour and dinner time and won’t be actively mixing but there can still be an art to building your respective playlists. You can use that time to play songs that may be on your couple’s “must-have” list but are realistically not great for dancing. If the couple gives you creative freedom, use it! Create a playlist that will create a mood and subtly speak to the guests. Find piano or string instrumentals of modern hits from artists such as The Theorist and Vitamin String Quartet respectively. Slowly increase the energy during dinner as to match the guests eagerness to get the party started. There are many ways to add your special touch to the cocktail and dinner hour music and it will enhance the overall experience as well as give you complete control of the energy of the wedding. You’d be surprised by the affect you can have on the overall flow of the wedding from start to finish. Apple Music and Spotify also have some great playlists that are categorized by vibe which can be a great place to start.